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CI/SfB

(31.9) Xt7
August 2009

code of practice

Metal finishes
- trades descriptions for door and window hardware

in association with
Metal finishes - trades descriptions for door and window hardware

Foreword Matching other hardware on a door a certain metal


Many will be familiar with the proverb All that glitters is might be needed for strength - for example steel, or
not gold. The implication is that appearances can be ease of fabrication - such as mazac. But if the
deceptive. In terms of door hardware, this is not specification calls for polished brass, a brass or
necessarily a bad thing. In the interests of aesthetics, industrial gold plating on top of the base metal will be
great efforts are made to provide door hardware of necessary to give the required appearance.
matching appearance for building projects. Some
materials do not lend themselves to certain processes In many instances, the finish serves both to protect AND
or end-uses. In such cases, another material must be improve or change the appearance of the item.
used, and then finished to match the rest of the
hardware. In marketing terms, finish describes what the surface
of the material looks like. It is not necessarily a
It is important that the purchaser or specifier description of the actual surface material. An example is
understands what is being supplied, so that there is no the finish of door closers, where the covers and arm
element of unrealistic expectation - or indeed deception assemblies might be required to match stainless steel
- in the transaction. lever furniture and pull handles. The base material of
the cover might be steel or even plastic, as stainless
The purpose of this document is to provide the steel can be expensive, and does not lend itself to some
manufacturer, supplier, specifier and end user with shaping processes. The required appearance might be
agreed methods of describing finishes, and to thereby achieved through satin chrome or satin nickel plating, or
avoid misunderstandings. with the use of coloured lacquers, or a combination of
these processes. The resulting door closer will have the
Index appearance of stainless steel but will have the corrosion
resistance level as shown in its classification to EN
Description Page no. 1154, where provided. This classification might be lower
than that expected of stainless steel. This means that
Armour bright 3 the closer would be suitable for dry, internal conditions,
Black iron 4 but it would not withstand atmospheric attack in a
Black japanned 4 coastal location. It is essential to check test evidence to
BMA (Bronze metal antique) 4 establish actual performance capabilities.
Bronze anodised 4
BZP (Bright zinc plate) 3 Another example is the use of industrial gold plate as a
CP (Chrome plate) 3 substitute for brass in damp locations such as bath or
EPB (Electro-plate brass) 4 shower rooms. Brass or brass plate could be difficult to
Gold anodised 4 keep pristine in such conditions, whereas the gold plate
GP (Gold plate) 4 is unaffected by the damp.
IBMA (Imitation bronze metal antique) 4
PAA (Polished anodised aluminium) 3 This Code of Practice strongly recommends that the
PB (Polished brass) 4 word finish be used wherever the description of the
PBF (Polished brass finish) 4 material might otherwise lead to a wrong conclusion
PSS (Polished stainless steel) 3 about the surface or substrate. Suppliers should also
PSSF (Polished stainless steel finish) 3 state somewhere in their literature what the wear and
SAA (Satin anodised aluminium) 3 corrosion properties of their finishes are likely to be.
SCP (Satin chrome plate) 3
SB (Satin brass) 4 Users should satisfy themselves that the finish offered is
SNP (Satin nickel plate) 3 suitable for the conditions in which they will place it, and
SSS (Satin stainless steel) 3 be aware that looks like does not mean performs like.
SSSF (Satin stainless steel finish) 3
Examples of the use of finish in a description:
The need for finishes
There are two main reasons for applying finishes: Cabinet knob, satin stainless steel finish = looks like
satin stainless steel but is not that material.
Protection - for example, steel is prone to going rusty;
aluminium and brass will oxidise if not protected. An Lock forend and strike, brass finish = look like brass but
applied surface finish can help to exclude damp and are not solid brass components.
other types of atmospheric attack. A surface finish
might additionally change the appearance of the original
material, e.g. bright zinc plating or colour powder
coating on steel.

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Metal finishes - trades descriptions for door and window hardware

Terms in common usage PSS - Polished Stainless Steel


Where the following terms are used, the purchaser or Stainless steel of a recognised
end-user should expect the product to be as the grade or type, with a bright or
descriptions following: mirror finish.

Self colour PSSF - Polished Stainless Steel


This means that the material from Finish, sometimes shown PSF
which the product is made has A coating on top of a substrate,
received no surface finish. An with a bright or mirror finish which looks like polished
example is extruded brass butts, stainless steel.
where natural oxidation of the
surface over a period of time is SAA Satin Anodised
accepted. Cast iron items are Aluminium
often supplied self colour, as the surface texture and Aluminium which has been
colour of the cast iron are features in themselves. anodised to a specified depth,
giving a satin finish. (Note: the
Silver-coloured finishes anodising process will give a slightly
different finish depending on the
CP Chrome Plate method of manufacture used to
A plating of the metal Chromium form the item. Stamped, extruded and cast components
onto a suitable substrate, with a might look slightly different when assembled as a single
bright or mirror finish. item. Manufacturers try to minimise this, but an exact
match is not usually possible. An example is a cast
aluminium lever handle on a pressed backplate. The tone
and shade of silver should be similar, relative to the price
of the item.)

SCP Satin Chrome Plate PAA - Polished Anodised


A plating of the metal Chromium Aluminium (or PA - Polished
onto a suitable substrate, with a Anodised)
satin or brushed finish. Aluminium which has been
anodised to a specified depth, then
polished to give a shiny finish.
(Note: the anodising process will
give a slightly different finish
depending on the method of manufacture used to form the
SNP Satin Nickel Plate item. Stamped, extruded and cast components might look
A plating of the metal Nickel onto a slightly different when assembled as a single item.
suitable substrate, with a satin or Manufacturers try to minimise this, but an exact match is
brushed finish. not usually possible. An example is a cast aluminium lever
handle on a pressed backplate. The tone and shade of
silver should be similar, relative to the price of the item.)

BZP Bright Zinc Plate


A plating of the metal Zinc onto a
suitable substrate, with a bright
SSS Satin Stainless Steel finish.
Stainless steel of a recognised
grade or type, with a satin or
brushed finish.

SSSF Satin Stainless Steel


Finish, sometimes shown SSF AB Armour Bright
A coating on top of a substrate, Malleable iron which has been
with a satin or brushed finish which looks like satin sheradized and then burnished to
stainless steel. a bright finish.

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Metal finishes - trades descriptions for door and window hardware

Gold-coloured finishes Bronze-coloured finishes

PB Polished Brass BMA Bronze Metal Antique


Solid brass which has been Real bronze, usually highly
polished to a shiny finish. It might polished, which has undergone
also have a clear protective film further treatment to give a dark,
applied, or have been chemically iridescent finish to the metal.
sealed.

PBF Polished Brass Finish


Possibly brass plating on a substrate, with a shiny IBMA Imitation Bronze Metal
finish. It might also have a clear protective film applied. Antique (or IB Imitation
Alternatively, any other finish giving the appearance of Bronze)
polished brass, such as industrial gold plate. Any dark brown finish intended to
look like bronze, often on a brass
EPB - Electro-plate Brass base.
Brass plating on a substrate, with a shiny finish. It might
also have a clear protective film applied.
Bronze Anodised
GP - Industrial Gold Plate Aluminium which has been
Gold plating on a substrate, with a anodised to a specified depth, with
shiny finish which is similar to a satin or polished finish. The
polished brass. bronze colouring is introduced
either during or after the anodising
process, and is no deeper than the
anodic film. (Note: the anodising
process will give a slightly different finish depending on
the method of manufacture used to form the item. The
SB Satin Brass introduction of colour can exaggerate the differences.
Solid brass with a satin or brushed Stamped, extruded and cast components might look
finish. It might also have a clear different shades of bronze when assembled as a single
protective film applied, or have item. There is also the possibility of slight variation from
been chemically sealed. batch to batch. Manufacturers try to minimise this, but
an exact match is not usually possible. Bronze anodised
covers a variety of shades.)

Black-coloured finishes
Gold Anodised
Aluminium which has been Black iron (reproduction Tudor-
anodised to a specified depth, with style door furniture)
a satin or polished finish. The gold Usually mild steel which has been
colouring is introduced either formed or occasionally cast and
during or after the anodising then epoxy-powder coated to
process, and is no deeper than the provide a dull black durable finish.
anodic film. (Note: the anodising Some imported furniture might be
process will give a slightly different finish depending on painted black. The paint finish is
the method of manufacture used to form the item. The less durable, as it is more easily damaged and removed.
introduction of colour can exaggerate the differences. There are no set standards for finishing black iron, so
Stamped, extruded and cast components might look specifiers should check before deciding to ensure that the
different shades of gold when assembled as a single finish offered is acceptable for the application intended.
item. There is also the possibility of slight variation from
batch to batch. Manufacturers try to minimise this, but Black japanned
an exact match is not usually possible. Gold anodised Originally a shiny oil-based black
covers shades from a light champagne to deep gold.) lacquer finish, baked onto bare
metal to give a durable finish less
prone to cracking and peeling than
ordinary paint. In recent times the
term has been applied to several
shiny black paint or powder coat
finishes, some of which might not be so durable. The term
is best viewed as descriptive of an appearance rather than
a process. Specifiers should check to ensure that the 4
finish offered is suitable for the application intended.
DHF PROFILE
The Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) was created by a The DHF and its members have consistently risen to the
merger between the Association of Building Hardware challenges posed by an ever-changing market, creating
Manufacturers (ABHM) and the Door and Shutter products which meet the needs of a changing world and
Manufacturers Association (DSMA), both of which have developing performance standards alongside national and
established excellent reputations in their respective industries, international organisations, such as BSI and CEN, which enable
particularly in the area of technical expertise and the the industry to select and compare products with confidence.
development of performance standards in national and
international arenas. The federation now represents the interests of manufacturers
and installers of industrial, pedestrian and garage doors as well
The DHF aims to build on these reputations by exploiting the as manufacturers of locks and building hardware. It provides
synergies that exist between the two associations and professionals in all sectors of the building industry with a single
combining their technical and financial resources to provide a source for technical expertise and creates a more powerful and
unified, authoritative voice for the entire industry. representative lobbying force, with the ultimate aim of assuring
progress and maintaining standards throughout the industry.

Guild of Architectural Ironmongers Master Locksmiths Association


Founded in 1961, the Guild represents 95% of bona fide distributors The MLA is recognised by the Home Office, Police and The British
within the UK and the majority of manufacturers of architectural Standards Institution as being the authoritative body for
ironmongery. The Guild serves to further all aspects of architectural locksmithing. It was formed to promote the membership to Central
ironmongery by promoting the interchange of information to and Local Governments, Industry, Commerce and the Public.
encourage better product design and high professional standards of
ironmongery scheduling and specification.

42 Heath Street
Tamworth
Staffs B79 7JH
Tel: Tamworth (01827) 52337
Fax: Tamworth (01827) 310827
DHF e-mail: info@dhfonline.org.uk
Web site: www.dhfonline.org.uk

Information in this guide is correct at time of publication and intended for guidance only. Information may since have changed and readers should consult the appropriate standards
and authorities to confirm its veracity. PS6876/pdf/0809